July 11, 2010

Unusual Tales - Night Call

"Unusual Tales", a series presenting Steve Ditko's comics from 1957 to 1959 that are in the public domain.

"Night Call" is a 4-page story by Steve Ditko, first published in Charlton's MYSTERIES OF UNEXPLORED WORLDS #6 [1957]. It's been reprinted once since then, in BEYOND THE GRAVE #16 [1984].

A pretty run of the mill spooky story about a doctor who has to go out on an emergency call late one foggy night.

Visually this story is interesting for a far more extensive use of mechanical tones on the second page than is common in Ditko's work from the era.  Here are a few other stories from the 1950s with such tones.  Ditko does seem to use them in a very complicated and effective way, which scans at this size don't really do justice to, especially when combined with the off-register colour printing, I'm afraid.  Even with that, you can see a lot of detail in how he uses the tones to give the perception of light coming through the fog.

Some links to check out:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
Lots of great stuff available
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
New issue, focus on later Marvel work, coming this month
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
Complete Spider-Man now in softcover Marvel Masterworks volumes
Download public domain comics, likely including the one this story is from
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Clicken to embiggen.

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